Friday, September 14, 2018

Awareness


Life is a journey with all sorts of choices and potential for growth. 
Mindfulness, as a practice, has ties to spiritual practices in some religions. This is something that some in the mental health field have either A) chosen to ignore and focus on the aspects that would not explicitly engage in spiritual practices, B) chosen to embrace and use for mental healing or C) were completely unaware of the connections.

I personally fell into the "A" category. I recognized the mental health use for being "mindful" of one's surroundings and how that had the potential to lessen or eliminate one's suffering. But I also felt it was ties that could easily be ignored and avoided in order to remain steadily on the side of mental health and not spiritual teachings and practices. 

Until recently. After much consideration on the subject, I have chosen to show the ability for growth and understanding to those I come in contact with and to make a firm stand for my own spiritual beliefs. On a personal level, my own spiritual beliefs do not have room for inter-mingling of various spiritual practices from a variety of religions. So I make the choice to steer clear of practices that could be construed as doing so. 

On a mental health level, however, I realized it was also wrong to continue a tight tie to spiritual practices, because this site and the peer support group offered within, does not make religious or spiritual recommendations. It is solely for mental health purposes. And by remaining connected, no matter how little or large of a connection, I wasn't following through with ..."solely for mental health purposes."

I realize there is a lot of literature out there and they don't make much mention or use of the spiritual side to mindfulness, and perhaps over the years, the connection will get further and further apart. But for now, it's basis and origins have strong ties and my growth has taught me to stand firm for my values. So, in past articles, there will be a quite a bit on mindfulness, but going forward from here, I will refer to the practice of being aware or awareness. And it will only deal with mental health skills to help us be aware of our environment and our bodies in any given moment of distress or effective moments that we can build from. 

~Mj